Tag Archives: .SAARLAND

Registries Aren’t Content Police, But Keeping Trust Is Reputationally Important: Domain Pulse

Registries universally said they’re not content police in a discussion on domain name take down processes involving legal counsels from the operators of 6 European registries, both generic and country code TLDs. However processes vary among the registries.

The discussion involved representatives from dotSaarland, DENIC (.de), SWITCH (.ch), SIDN (.nl), DNS Belgium (.be) and Nominet (.uk) at the Domain Pulse conference in Munich Friday, the annual event that rotates between Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

One registry that does make decisions on takedowns, or suspensions as they’re often called, and the content on the sites using the domain names, is SWITCH. Anna Kuhn explained how SWITCH was rather unusual in that they were both a registry and operated a national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), which gave them some additional expertise. However SWITCH still doesn’t make decisions on content, only on domain names involved in the hosting malware and phishing Combatting cybercrime, Kuhn explained, is one of the roles of the registry operator.

Volker Greimann from dotSaarland, the only new gTLD operator in the panel discussion, said .saarland is in a different position to the country code top level domain (ccTLD) registries as they have a direct contract with ICANN. Additionally, the Saarland regional government said they don’t want their new generic top level domain (new gTLD) to be a haven for crime. The gTLD for the German state has an anti-abuse rule in their terms and conditions that requires domain names to not ruin the reputation of the Saar region.

Horst explained the German registry's position of the German registry in this respect: “DENIC is not the right point of contact to which to turn when it comes to content. If DENIC were to evaluate content and delete, at its own discretion, domains through which websites with questionable content can be accessed, this would be equivalent to censorship. In a democracy based on the separation of powers, no one can seriously support law enforcement by the private sector. This philosophy of DENIC's is, by the way, also reflected by the unanimous opinion of the German courts.”

The courts, Horst explained, have always sided with DENIC’s view that they also aren’t in a position to judge on what is illegal content and that complaints should always go to the registrant if they can be contacted.

SIDN’s Maarten Simon said SIDN will never just take down a domain name and that contacting the registry should be a last resort. However Simon also noted .nl domain names are much more trusted by Dutch people than any other TLD. And that this trust is both in SIDN’s interest to protect so that internet users continue to want to visit sites using the Dutch ccTLD and businesses want to register .nl domain names. Building trust benefits SIDN’s bottom line as more .nl domain names are registered. For complaints regarding .nl domain names, there is an independent appeals board with a number of judges and professors with the expertise to deal with complaints.

Peter Vergote from DNS Belgium also noted how .be has nothing to do with judging content hosted using a .be domain name, so to get a domain name suspended a complaint has to give necessary evidence such as a court order to have a domain name taken down.

Vergote echoed Simon’s views on .nl in that DNS Belgium deeply cares about the quality of the .be zone and it’s their sincere duty to do what they can without taking unnecessary risks. While they are more active than in the past on dealing with complaints, they will never evaluate content on a website. This position has been backed by a court order from a Belgian court that states deciding illegal content is up to the courts and can’t be done by DNS Belgium. When it comes to phishing though, DNS Belgium treats this differently and will take action without a court order if they are advised from a competent body that a domain name is used for phishing.

But DNS Belgium will never take it upon themselves to suspend a domain name that’s suspected of being used for phishing because that’s a content evaluation. Additionally Vergote said a phisher is unlikely to put their correct identity in Whois. DNS Belgium suspends around a dozen domain names per month with complaints largely driven by government agencies and rarely from private individuals or organisations.

So what about the domain names that are required to be taken down, or suspended? For SIDN, Simon explained the procedure starts with a form to be completed on the SIDN website where the complainant explains why the domain name should be taken and what they’ve done to date to complain. If the complaint is clear cut SIDN will go to the registrar and get the domain name taken down. SIDN receives about 20 requests per year and take down one, maybe 2, each year out of the 5.8 million .nl registrations.

Nominet’s Wenban-Smith commented on the futility of removing or suspending a domain name because even if they do, the content still exists. Nominet doesn’t allow child abuse or content that promotes criminal activity on .uk domain names. But Nominet doesn’t make decisions on what is illegal content but does cooperate with those who can such as law enforcement. For those wishing to make complaints, Nominet doesn’t take requests from those outside the UK. In 2017 Wenban-Smith said Nominet suspended 16,000 .uk domain names in 2017.

ICANN: Release of Country and Territory Names within the .SONY, .ARCHI, .BIO and .SAARLAND TLDs

ICANN new generic Top Level Domains logoPurpose (Brief): Four (4) Registry Services Evaluation Policy (RSEP) requests were submitted by the registry operators listed below to allow the release of country and territory names for the below TLDs. In total, the requests concern 4 New gTLDs.



Registry Name




dotSaarland GmbH

dotSaarland GmbH Request 16 April 2015




STARTING DOT LIMITED Request 6 April 2015




STARTING DOT LIMITED Request 6 April 2015



Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation Request 16 March 2015

Currently, .SONY, .ARCHI, .BIO and .SAARLAND Registry Agreements require country and territory names contained in specific internationally recognized lists to be withheld from registration or allocated to the registry operator at all levels.

As required by the RSEP, ICANN has undertaken a preliminary determination on whether these RSEP proposals might raise significant competition, security or stability issues. ICANN‘s preliminary review (based on the information provided) did not identify any such issues.

Following ICANN‘s preliminary determination that the proposals do not raise significant competition, security or stability issues, it was further determined that the change would require a material change to the respective Registry Agreements and that an amendment is needed in order to effect the change.

The proposed amendments, which are being posted for comment, would allow the registration of country and territory names at all levels in .SONY, .ARCHI, .BIO and .SAARLAND TLDs. It should be noted that Specification 13 has been granted for .SONY. Additionally, .SAARLAND is a Geo TLD.

Public Comment Box Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/ctn-release-tlds-2015-05-13-en

Comment Period Opens on 13 May 2015

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

General Availability For .SAARLAND Commences

dot SAARLAND logoAs of 30 October, the .SAARLAND domain is available for open registration by all Saarland people and Saarland fans. With the so called GoLive, the start of the General Availability, the unrestricted sale of .SAARLAND web addresses starts at 11:00 UTC. So as of now .SAARLAND domains can be registered on a “first-come, first-served” basis.

With the beginning of the GoLive all .SAARLAND registrations during Sunrise and Landrush phases will be available to registrants.

“With the start of the General Availability, the launch of the .SAARLAND domain is completed. All Saarland people and Saarland fans can now move into their new home in the virtual world”, says Volker Greimann, legal advisor of the dotSaarland GmbH. “Saarland’s own top level domain (TLD) helps to highlight the technical competence and innovativeness of the region, and to present the country as a progressive business location.”

Anke Rehlinger, Minister Of Economic Affairs for Saarland, emphasised the economic value of the .SAARLAND domain: “Today is the beginning of a new normality: Step by step it will be usual to use and notice .SAARLAND domains. The domain extension .SAARLAND supports value creation, growth and employment in the region.”

The aim of .SAARLAND is to give Saarland-based companies, associations, clubs and other organisations the opportunity to draw attention to their local services and to demonstrate their own regional identity. With .SAARLAND web sites, all internet users are able to offer content tailored to the Saarland and its citizens in a targeted way; thanks to the targeting through the domain extension these web sites will also be easily found on the Internet.

.SAARLAND Starts One-Month Landrush

dot SAARLAND logoThe .saarland gTLD commenced its so-called Landrush phase on 23 September, which allows any interested party an early registration until 22 October. During this phase, Saarland residents are granted first rights to their desired domains.

Then as of 30 October, .saarland domains will be generally available to all and can be registered on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Pre-orders for the General Availability of .saarland domains can already be submitted to several registrars.

Saarland is located in the south west of Germany, has an area of 2,570 square kilometres and around 1.01 million inhabitants. It is also Germany’s smallest federal state apart from the city-states of Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg.

For those without a trademark or similar right to protect but desire early or preferred access to a specific domain, they have the possibility to register their desired domain names in the Landrush. Special preference will be given to interested parties with a domicile or business address in the Saarland to further promote the regional character of the TLD, not unlike the process for .london.

“The Landrush provides a unique opportunity to Saarland people to secure their desired domains before anyone else registers these”, said Alexander Siffrin, CEO of the dotSaarland GmbH, the registry of .SAARLAND.

The Landrush will be structured as an application process and will not be “first come, first served”. Applications for identical do-main names will be resolved in an auction process; however local applications will have precedence over other Landrush applications.

ICANN: Introduction of Two-Character Domain Names for .SOHU, .IMMO, .SAARLAND, .CLUB

ICANN logoPurpose (Brief): Four (4) Registry Services Evaluation Process (RSEP) requests were submitted by the registry operators listed below to allow the introduction of two-character domain names for the below TLDs. In total, the requests concern 4 New gTLDs.

Proposal TLD Registry Name Documents
2014045 club .Club Domains, LLC .Club Domains, LLC Request 6 August 2014 [PDF, 15 KB]
2014042 saarland dotSaarland GmbH dotSaarland GmbH Request 29 July 2014 [PDF, 17 KB]
2014041 immo Donuts, Inc., submitted by Binky Lake, LLC Binky Lake, LLC Request 22 July 2014 [PDF, 16 KB]
2014036 sohu Sohu.com Limited Sohu.com Limited Request 11 July 2014 [PDF, 15 KB]

As part of these requests, each registry operator described which two-character domain names for which it would offer these registrations. These RSEP requests were posted for public information on the Registry Service Evaluation Process webpage, available at https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/rsep-2014-02-19-en.

As required by the Registry Services Evaluation Policy, ICANN has undertaken a preliminary determination on whether the proposals might raise significant competition, security or stability issues. ICANN’s preliminary review (based on the information provided) did not identify any such issues for these requests.

Implementation of the proposal would require amendments to the Exhibit A, Approved Services of the respective Registry Agreements, which are being posted for public comment.

Public Comment Box Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/two-char-new-gtld-2014-08-19-en

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

Sunrise For Germany’s .SAARLAND Commences 17 July

dot SAARLAND logoThe sunrise period for the .saarland gTLD commences at 10:00 UTC on 17 July. Saarland is a German state in the south west of the country with just over a million inhabitants and is Germany’s smallest state, apart from its three city states.

At the same time as the commencement of the Sunrise period, .saarland Founders Program, in which interested parties can apply for .saarland domains who have an innovative idea on how to use the domain begins.

“We are very happy that the project can start now after a two-year application process for the operation of .saarland”, said Alexander Siffrin, CEO of the dotSaarland GmbH, the registry of .saarland.

During the Sunrise period that ends on 15 September, brand owners have the possibility to apply for a domain name corresponding to their trademark (Sunrise A). As well, Saarland companies, associations, and corporate bodies/institutions under public law (Sunrise B) may apply for domains corresponding to their official name. Thus, these groups will receive privileged access to their domain name.

Applications for the Founders Programme ends on 16 August. Applications will be judged by an independent panel, which has been chosen by the nonprofit dotSaarland association.

When General Availability commences on 30 October, .saarland domains will become available for registration by all interested parties in accordance with the “first come, first served” principle. Pre-orders for the General Availability of .saarland domains can already be submitted with several registrars.

The dotSaarland GmbH has developed guidelines to register .saarland domain names for different groups of interested parties, including companies, self-employed persons and private persons. The guidelines are available for download at nic.saarland along with further information such as registration policies and launch phases.


.SAARLAND Gets Set To Launch… A Little Differently

dot SAARLAND logoAnother geographical gTLD is set to launch in the coming months with a slightly different Landrush period. Some gTLDs are open to everyone (.berlin) or everyone after preferences are given to businesses and individuals in the Landrush (.london) while others are restricted to businesses and individuals within the city (.nyc).

But .saarland, the gTLD for the Saarland region in south west Germany, has done things a little different. First is the typical Sunrise period (17 July to 15 September) that will include Sunrise A for those registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse and Sunrise B for officially registered companies, associations and statutory corporations in Saarland. Starting at the same time, but for a shorter period, will be a Founders Programme (17 July to 16 August) where businesses and individuals with innovative ideas can apply for their preferred domain. More details are to come but the idea is that the registry operator wants registrants to think a little differently on how they use their .saarland domain. The applications for domain names will be judged by an independent panel chosen by the dotSaarland e.V.

Following the Founders Programme is the Landrush (23 September to 22 October) that allows priority registrations for individuals and legal entities that have no brand, but still want an early, preferred access to a particular domain. During the Landrush applications from the Saarland are favoured in order to further promote the regional character of the TLD. The Landrush will be created as an application process and not carried out according to the “first come, first served” principle: In case of multiple, valid applications for the same domain name, there will be a closed auction between the applicants.

Then from 30 October will be the General Availability on 30 October where .saarland domains will become available for registration by all interested parties in accordance with the “first come, first served” principle. Non-binding and free for pre-orders for .SAARLAND domains can already be submitted with several registrars.

All .SAARLAND registration applications in the Sunrise, Landrush and General Availability must be submitted through an .SAARLAND accredited registrar. Applications for registrations in the Founders Program will be submitted directly to the dotSaarland GmbH. For further information about the launch phases of .SAARLAND, please visit: www.nic.saarland/en/domain/launch-phases.

dotSaarland GmbH Applies for .SAARLAND

[news release] The dotSaarland GmbH today successfully completed the application for the top level domain (TLD) .SAARLAND with ICANN. ICANN will evaluate the application along all others during the next 4 to 8 months. The initial evaluations will start on July 12, 2012.  In addition to the dotSaarland GmbH, more than 1200 entities submitted their applications for one or more new TLDs. With a batching process starting on June 8, 2012, ICANN will determine which TLD applications are reviewed first.

With web sites such as example.saarland online content may be tailored exactly to the Saarland region and the Saarland people. Regional offers will be easily found and can be placed precisely. As members of the non-profit dotSaarland Association, the federal state Saarland, the Saarland Chamber of Commerce (IHK) and the Chamber of Crafts (HWK Saarland) support the project for a Saarland domain extension. The delegation of .SAARLAND to the dotSaarland GmbH will take place earliest in winter 2012. In this case, it will be possible to pre-register and register .SAARLAND domains with accredited registrars as of spring 2013.

“We hope to launch .SAARLAND in the course of the next year. As a geographic TLD, which is fully supported by the federal state of Saarland, we expect an unobstructed evaluation by ICANN”, explains Alexander Siffrin, CEO of dotSAARLAND GmbH.

The date for the examination of the .SAARLAND application by ICANN will depend on the digital archery called batching procedure for new TLDs. Presumably around 2000 applications were submitted until today, therefore ICANN plans to review them in batches, the first batch being the largest with 500 and each subsequent containing 400 applications.

Digital archery means, that each applicant uses an online system to choose a date and time in the future, for example June 15, 2012, 8 am. The applicant logs in and clicks the submit button as accurately as possible. The closer the click is to the preselected time, the sooner will the application be reviewed. To ensure a fair process, ICANN distinguishes five geographical regions: Europe, Asia/Australia/Pacific, Latin America/Caribbean, Africa and North America respectively.

About the dotSaarland GmbH

The dotSaarland GmbH (nic.saarland) will be the registry for .SAARLAND domains. After applying successfully at ICANN, nic.saarland will organise and manage .SAARLAND domain registrations in accordance with the ICANN regulations. The dotSaarland GmbH is member of the non-profit dotSaarland Association and supports its activities. The statute of dotSaarland GmbH guarantees the establishment of an advisory council to the Association. The advisory council allows social and economic institutions of the Saarland to participate in the design and development of the TLD .SAARLAND – in the interest of all users.

Further information about the dotSaarland GmbH and the domain extension .SAARLAND are found at www.nic-saarland.de.